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Tag Archives: defensive tackles

The NFL Combine gives dynasty fantasy football fans their first glimpse on whether a player can translate college production into relevant fantasy points.  There weren’t any major spoilers combinerevealed, but some players impressed (stock up) while many stayed the same or failed to make a good impression (stock down).  Please remember the NFL Combine has already committed to tweaking their events to better translate to the game of football, instead of being about the highly measured 40 yard runs and 225 lb. bench presses.  Here are my initial thoughts:  Read More »


For those fantasy leagues that use defensive linemen as a part of an IDP package, the 2015 NFL Draft will be an exciting time.  The only significant defender that will be a defensive lineman no matterleo what is the ultra-talented, Leonard Williams. The former USC playmaker can line up at defensive end or defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme or anchor either defensive end spot in a 3-4 formation.  After hearing about what an amazing talent he was, I watched seven of his games against Fresno State, California, Nebraska, Arizona State, Utah, Notre Dame, and Arizona to decide for myself.  Here is what I found:

DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC 6’ 5” 302 lbs.

Cons: Despite being a fantastic, athletic man, Williams is still raw and needs to improve his technique, especially getting too high out of his stance while chasing down whoever has the pigskin.  He really needs to get better at the psychology of setting up moves in the first quarter that will free him up to make plays in the fourth.  There were a few times that emotions ran high with him and he got penalized on back to back plays.  The defender needs to keep in mind the phrase “the game is chess, not checkers.”  Once he gets the long game down, Williams will be downright scary. Read More »

Welcome to Day Three in Indianapolis.  This is usually my favorite day of the combine with huge men looking more athletic than they should.   The defensive linemen as a whole impressed, while thescoutingcombine linebackers were not as crisp as they had been in years past.  Here are some thoughts on players that stood out today:

DT/DE Arik Armstead, Oregon

He was a big, muscular monster.  The defender showed good balance and some quickness, but definitely belongs on the defensive line.

DE/LB Vic Beasley, Clemson

If the combine needed to have a winner for the day, it would be Beasley.  This muscular, quick twitched athlete ran an impressive 4.53 forty yard dash.  He was explosive with no wasted motion changing directions effortlessly (an impressive three cone drill time of 6.91), while showing off quick, powerful striking hands.  Beasley also looked nature dropping back into coverage. Read More »

My look around the rookie IDP fantasy landscape continues with defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman.  Grabbing IDPs before they make a big impact can be the difference between winning your fantasy league and even making the playoffs. hageman Depending on the day and his effort-level, you could see a superstar in the making or just another big body with the former Minnesota prospect.  I got to watch him practice during the Senior Bowl week and reviewed four of his 2013 college games against Wisconsin, Northwestern, Penn State, and Iowa to get good comparisons of what Mr. Hageman can and cannot do.  He found himself in a great spot, the Atlanta Falcons, to get some early playing time and be a contributor this season.   Read More »

The entire IDP community is getting a huge bump with the speculation and discussion of Jadeveon Clowney. There are other viable defensive linemen in this class though. Surely there will be one or two defensive tackles that will garner an clowneyNFL first round pick, the rest of the defensive ends, however, do not look to be drafted in the NFL’s first round. Before I discuss these players, let’s review the differences of the 4-3 defense and the 3-4 defensive schemes.

A 4-3 defense has four defensive lineman with two defensive ends lined up close to their offensive tackle counterparts (outside shoulder, perhaps squared up). The defensive end’s job is to provide pass rush and to contain outside runs for the most part. With the two interior defensive tackles, one tries to force a double team (usually the nose tackle aka guy who plays closest to center) and the other defensive tackle is usually the shiftier, quicker twitched tackle that provides inside pressure and crashes running lanes. For fantasy, the defensive ends and the defensive tackle allowed to freelance are usually your best options, so keep that in mind on your draft day. In the 3-4 defensive schemes, the defensive linemen’s jobs are more to take on double teams and apply pressure, leaving four linebackers to flow to the ball quickly. So unless your name is Clowney or Watt, you should avoid most of the defensive linemen that play in 3-4s. Read More »